Free Beer & Fiction is a creative writing workshop at The VIA Agency in Portland, Maine. Participants are given a topic and one month to write a short story to be read aloud in under 20 minutes. Best enjoyed with a cold beer.


It’s a decidedly random word, thrown out from the crowd. Let’s see where “squat” takes us.

I Don’t Have Squat and I’m Not Here

by Michael Daitch

Uncle Nino’s Diminutive Duds

by Lee Cutrone

Frog and Toad — NOT Together

by Jessica Fidalgo


The Pilgrims braved the North Atlantic to find new beginnings. How far would you go?

A Musical Journey

by Patti Lanigan

Sunday Night

by Jon Novak

The Journey to Cat Island

by Teddy Stoecklein

Witch Hunt

Halloween is a wonderful time of year. Who doesn’t like a good witch hunt?

The Witch Hunt

by Jess Mello

Solving Mysteries NBD

by Paul Whittemore

65 Characters

by Matt Scheumann

Bus Ride

Hunter S. Thompson famously wrote, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” Where will the bus take you?

Ride of a Lifetime

by Chris Laryea

Bean Bus

by Stephen Davis

The Bride’s Ride

by Kathleen Parr

Dog Days

Toward the end of summer, the heat can be relentless. Well, not in Maine. But we’re a very dog-friendly agency, so let’s hear about it.

Hotel for Dogs

by Moya Fry

The Coolie

by Steve Holt

Hot Pile at Villa Montana

by Judi Cutrone & Pete Wiernusz

Taking a Stand

The Fourth of July celebrates independence. In that spirit, this month’s theme is about taking a stand.

Bad Fantasy

by Jake Burns

The Last Stand

by Cameron Sheehan

The Last Letter

by Jessie Gilligan


With summer comes sun. And with sun comes, well, freckles.

Whore Bird

by Brittany Charette


by Lyndsey Fox

Death, Friendship and Me (or Life in the Suburban Wild)

by Leo Schwach


Mofo is a unique word, used many ways. Since it was close to Mother's Day, we thought we'd have fun with the root of the American phrase.

The Frisbee Golf Course Next to a National Park?

by Alexa King

Latte Lounge

by Samantha Laster


If you are reading this, you just won a million dollars. Click here to claim your prize.


by Lee Cutrone

The Most Amazing Adven­ture of the Least Dumb Person Ever

by Leo Schwach

Black Widow

by Moya Fry


We had just finished a long pitch for Pacific Life—you know—the brand with the breaching humpback whale in its logo. I guess we just had whale on the brain.

Roger & Me

by Meranne Behrends


by Judi Cutrone

The Inebriated Migration of Whales

by Pete Wiernusz


It was a winter with very little snow. El Niño was to blame. And those of us who love the mountains of Maine were praying for a nice big “dump.”

A Trip to the Dump

by Aaron Baglien

Valentine’s Day

by Liz McLellan

The King of Yamyar Province

by Steve Holt

Chilly, Chili or Chile

Maybe it was the ghost of Christmas past. Maybe was about a cold winter night. Or maybe it was a trip to the warmer climate or South America, where it was, in fact, summer.

Jungle Love

by Brittany Charette

Last Stand at the Aurora

by Chris Jacobs


by Teddy Stoecklein


During the holiday season, the Advertising world couldn’t be busier. With sales, and metrics, and jingles, and traffic drivers, who has time for religion?

The Gift of Faith

by Kathleen Parr


by Lawson Condrey


We work in a (presumably) haunted building, formerly the Baxter Library. It was built in the 1850s. And when you work long hours, sometimes things go bump in the night.

Thieves in the Night

by Chris Laryea


by Jessica Fidalgo


by Hillarie Olsen


Maine is known for its lobsters and artists. It is also known for camping. But we all have different notions of what it means to camp.


by Jason Wright

Three-Fingered Willy Goes to Camp

by Tim Stoklosa

Last Day at Camp

by Paul Whittemore


There are a lot of offensive words in the English language. Most of them pertain to racial, ethnic or religious bigotry; from the N-word to the C-word. But why “moist?”

American 18

by Barry Wolford

Randy at Sea

by Lawson Condrey

Fuck Canada Part II - The Search for Moisture

by Stephen Davis


After a long, cold, snowy winter, those of us in Maine were anxious to get on with the warmer months. In other words, we were ready for a real sizzler.

Nik Spelled N-I-K

by Cameron Sheehan

Why, Why, Why

by Greg Smith

I’m Okay

by Mary Hannifin

Long Weekend

We were about to head into a long weekend. It was just that simple.

He Was Loved

by Jessie Gilligan

The Long Weekend

by John Coleman

Mona Lisa Steak and Cheese

by Mike Daitch


You can make something out of nothing, or you can make nothing out of something. The choice is yours, so write about “whatever.”

The Black Canary

by Teddy Stoecklein


by Patrick Krulik

A Poem by the Farmer Concerning the First Night

by Steve Holt

Fuck Canada

November 4 meant elections. And so we voted for this month’s theme, democratically. The choices were “Turkey,” “Thankful,” or the completely random “Fuck Canada.” Well, so much for democracy.

Fuck Canada Prologue

by Teddy Stoecklein

O Canada

by Stephen Davis

A Shot in the Dark

by Pete Wiernusz


We all love Halloween. And October first means we get to unpack all our goblins and ghouls to decorate our homes. Why not kick the month off with the theme “Spooky?”

Search and Rescue

by Sallie Allen

Spooky Story

by Moya Fry

Into the Forest Dark

by Judi Cutrone

We’re Already Dead

by Teddy Stoecklein


The end of summer means it’s back to school for so many of our kids. And so, September’s theme was “Schooled.”

The Ningkatok Road

by Greg Smith

The Griffin Richards School for the Damned

by Steve Holt

Skooled (A First Draft)

by Steve Street

Good Company

In early August we have our annual summer party. It’s a gathering of colleagues without conference calls, spreadsheets and presentations. Just music, food, beer and “Good Company.”

Hashtag Besties

by Jessica Fidalgo

The Gathering

by Bobby Pfeiffenberger

Made In America

July 4th is one of our favorite holidays. To honor our great nation, this month’s theme was “Made in America.”

Ode to Opa

by Kelly Scharf

May De Amerika

by Aimee A. Kudlak


by Chris Jacobs


When your spring is more like winter, can you blame us Mainers for looking forward to a little “Heat?”

My Girls

by Mary Hanifin

The Lion Guides

by Sven Fahlgren

Jeremy, The Glo Worm

by Patrick Krulik


They say March is “in like a lion, out like a lamb?” Well, in Maine, just when you think winter has passed, you get blasted with a late winter storm, which led to this month’s theme: “Surprised.”


by Leah Rohner

15 to Freedom

by Dan Pappas

The Life and Death of Andy Moog

by Mike Daitch

Never the Why

by Greg Smith


Spring was in the air, which meant a welcome change in the weather in Maine. Hence the theme “Metamorphosis.”

The Obsolescence of Bill

by Chris Jacobs


by Jessica Fidalgo

A Tuesday, Ruined

by Brett Willis

Love Gone Wrong

Soon after our first Free Beer & Fiction meeting was Valentine’s Day, which inspired our second topic, “Love Gone Wrong.”

The Summer of Love Lost

by John Coleman


by Jessica Fidalgo

Love Gone Wrong

by Jamie Holt

The First Time

Being our very first Free Beer & Fiction assignment, what better topic than to write about “The First Time?”

I’ll Go First

by Kathleen Parr

In Dreams

by Chris Gilbert

The Rattrap

by Steve Holt

It Was Quick

by Teddy Stoecklein